Presently, the 32nd Senate District is 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican, says Howie Lind of McLean, who is running for the Republican nomination.
His opponent Dave Hunt, for eight years the precinct captain in one of the most conservative precincts of Dranesville District, steps around the issue of last fall’s Northern Virginia sales tax referendum, which he supported. Lind, who opposed it, mentions Hunt’s position every chance he gets.
In the Seneca Precinct, which Hunt has chaired for eight years, 64 percent of the voters said "no" to the sales tax referendum.
In the Chain Bridge Precinct, which Lind has served as precinct chair since last year, 53 percent of the voters turned down the sales tax referendum, which was touted as a funding source for area transportation projects.
Among Republicans overall, the sales tax referendum lost by a margin of 66 to 33 percent, Lind says.
Hunt says voters no longer see the 2002 sales tax referendum as an issue. But Lind thinks otherwise.
"Taxes are huge with Republicans now," said Lind. "The real estate tax increase is uppermost in voters’ minds."
Lind, a retired career Naval commander who now works for Tysons defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, supported an unsuccessful Cuccinelli-Black bill for a five percent cap per year on the rate of increase in real estate property taxes.
Lind "stands with our conservative leaders in Richmond, such as Sens. (Ken) Cuccinelli (R-37th) and (Jay) O’Brien (R-39th)" and Delegates (Scott) Lingamfelter (R-31st) and (Dick) Black (R-32nd) and will support this and other taxpayer-friendly legislation," according to his Web site.
Residential tax leverage is a function of county government, not the state of Virginia. But "People are so upset with this they are asking state reps to do something about it because the county elected officials are unresponsive," Lind said.
He supports limiting the growth of government spending by tying tax rates to inflation and population growth.
Lind also touts his conservative endorsements and support. "This election is a primary where conservatives turn out in the majority. I have the conservative leadership of the Republican Party on my team," he said.
On two other major issues, transportation and education, Lind uses these acronyms:
TTF, for transportation trust fund. "It was zeroed out -- looted or raided -- by Gov. Warner of $317 million to pay for other things," Lind said. "State leadership is not serious about fixing traffic congestion if we are allowing that to happen."
TLC, or true local control. "We as a state and a community need to move away from the federal and state grip and move it under the control of counties and cities," Lind said.
Lind says he wants to use money from the state transportation fund to pay for the most-needed projects, such as expanding the interchange of the Capitol Beltway and the Dulles Toll Road.
He supports bus rapid transit to Dulles Airport as a lower cost solution to traffic congestion, and he wants the government to encourage telecommuting.
In step with other Republicans, he speaks of traffic signal synchronization as a low-cost way to ease traffic tie-ups.
He also suggests opening shoulder lanes "where feasible" for rush hour traffic on the beltway and I-95.
"The mandates by the federal and state education bureaucracies are stifling our schools, as evidenced by huge non-teaching and administrative costs."
Lind said he also wants more parents to be involved in schools because "They are not. I speak to that as a former PTA president," said Lind. "I am not saying they are bad people. I am saying the system as it is set up is flawed."
But involved parents "have a vested interest in [the schools’] success," Lind said. "I favor vouchers to help with this process."
He also wants to eliminate the inheritance (death) tax, which he describes as "an insidious tax that forces people out of their homes, business and farms around Virginia after the passing of their loved ones."
As the father of four teenage daughters who attend public schools in McLean and college in Virginia, Lind says former governors George Allen and James Gilmore "got it right" when they implemented standards of learning in Virginia schools.
Lind describes himself as "pro-life." He supported the ban on partial birth abortions and parental consent before underage teenagers could have abortion, as approved by the General Assembly in the veto session.